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Relationship between laying sequence and mercury concentration in tree swallow eggs

Authors

  • Rebecka L. Brasso,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology, Randolph College, 2500 Rivermont Avenue, Lynchburg, Virginia 24503, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Biology and Marine Biology, The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington, NC 28403, USA.
    • Department of Biology, Randolph College, 2500 Rivermont Avenue, Lynchburg, Virginia 24503, USA.
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  • Marwa K. Abdel Latif,

    1. Department of Biology, Randolph College, 2500 Rivermont Avenue, Lynchburg, Virginia 24503, USA
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  • Daniel A. Cristol

    1. Department of Biology, Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior Studies, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187, USA
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Abstract

When female birds lay eggs, some of their body burden of mercury is eliminated into each egg, potentially leading to declining mercury across the clutch. However, there was no decline in mercury with laying sequence in clutches of tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) eggs at a mercury-contaminated site, presumably due to daily replenishment of mercury in females during laying. Sampling just one egg from the nest provided an accurate measure of clutch mercury contamination. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:1155–1159. © 2010 SETAC

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